Friday, 12 October 2007

A Reflection: Now Life’s Events Can Impact on Your Home Design

Our editorial in the August Bloor West SNAP Community Paper
Click on picture to enlarge.

Bloor West SNAP is a monthly source for a captivating view of the many community events, celebrations, business gatherings and general daily life in the communities of Bloor West Village, Swansea Village, High Park, The Kingsway, Roncesvalles Village and the Junction.

A Reflection: Now Life’s Events
Can Impact on Your Home Design

by: Martina Ernst

What do you do when life deals you one of those unexpected curve balls, such as having to care for elderly parents or the return of a daughter after a divorce with grandchildren in tow? Even planned changes such as a new baby’s arrival can play havoc with your living arrangements.

These occurrences are common, however, may not have been in your life plan. When one or both of your parents begin living with you, this brings about huge changes to the comfort level in your household. Short of uprooting the entire family to a new location at enormous expense, all these concerns can be facilitated with the services of a competent professional with good planning expertise.

One of the most important matters is creating boundaries that give everyone a certain degree of independence. Part of the process has to be brainstorming possibilities with your family and then consulting with professionals, i.e. architects, designers and contractors to get the best suggestions to the challenges you facing.

Some points that would facilitate the process to achieve your desired results:

Consider the situation you are facing and needs of everyone involved. Make wish-list.
Discuss the issues with your family and take into account everyone’s needs and opinions. Solutions can range from simple partitioning to elaborate additions. Do you convert the family room to a granny suite or do you consider an extension to your home? Maybe converting two bedrooms into one and considering a chair lift would be the answer. How do you prevent from compromising the resale value by the conversion?
Think about the existing space, budget, and desired lifestyle. How do you keep the cost down and provide the comfort your family deserves?
Visualize the final outcome. What do you want to achieve and what do you ultimately need.
Consult with all professionals involved and make your final decision.
Get started!

Having a specific goal in mind can make communication a lot easier. The construction aspect of the project is the easy part, knowing what you want: priceless.

Martina Ernst is the CEO of Wo-Built Inc, a women-led Design and Build general contractor.

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